December 20th, 2007
09:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Romney: Man of Year choice 'disgusting'

Romney is not happy with Time Magazine's choice.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Count Republican Mitt Romney among those who aren't happy with Time Magazine's choice of Russian President Vladimir Putin for Person of the Year.

In an interview with CNN's Glenn Beck, the presidential candidate called the choice "disgusting."

"You know, he imprisoned his political opponents. There have been a number of highly suspicious murders," Romney said on Beck's radio show. "He has squelched public dissent and free press. And to suggest that someone like that is the Man of the Year is really disgusting. I'm just appalled."

"Clearly General Petraeus is the person, or one of a few people, who would certainly merit that designation," the former Massachusetts governor added.

Rival presidential candidate John McCain also said Wednesday he disagreed with the choice.

“I noticed that Time Magazine made President Putin the Time Magazine ‘Man of the Year,’” McCain said, according to NBC. “I understand that probably, but my man of the year is one Gen. David Petraeus, our general who has brought success in Iraq.”

Time Magazine: A Tsar Is Born

Watch: Why Time chose Putin

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (361 Responses)
  1. CB, Chicago, Illinois

    Could Mitt really be such a pea brain that he doesn't realize that were he ever to be elected he would actually have to deal with Mr. Putin? God help us all (I put the God reference in because I know it would make Mitt happy).

    December 19, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Tim, Cincinnati, OH

    I stopped paying attention to Time's annual "Person of the Year" ritual years ago. I think it's nothing more than an exercise in self-importance by a bunch of media elites. This kind of instant historical analysis is shallow and meaningless.

    December 19, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. J. Piske - Chicago

    Let me understand this, TIME selects the man of the year based on how he has re-established Russia as a world power. Through corruption and intimidation – as he was taught by the KGB. Actually, I admire Putin and what he has done in Russia. Just imagine what TIME would be spewing should a US leader act in this manner. Lousy Liberal Hypocrites!!

    December 19, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  4. Andy, New York, New York

    TIME magazine has some sort of convulted explanation for how it arrives at its choice of PERSON OF THE YEAR. One year, it had Rudy Giuliani and Osama bin Laden as candidates, and the rationale was that candidates are those who made some unusual impact on a massive scale for the better or the worse! What sort of impact of a major nature has Putin made that makes him candidate? I think Newsweek needs to compete with TIME and start its own version of Person of the Year. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, who turned the tide in Iraq after all the negative news the leftwing media churned out about suicide and IED bombings is more deserving of this recognition. Maybe TIME is looking for something from Putin.

    December 19, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. S. Wright

    Time's Person of the Century was Albert Einstein.

    I'm glad to see none of the towering pillars of intellectual prowess that have posted here already will never make it.

    You people are silly.

    December 19, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. Ken Oklahoma City, OK

    Didn't they name Hitler the same back in the '30s?

    December 19, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. D.Blue

    Is there nothing this bozo won't whine about??
    All he does is attack and whine.
    Sounds like he went to the "W" school of politics.

    December 19, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  8. DB, Las Vegas, NV

    I understand fully that Time says it isn't about praising the individual but only to communicate the great world influence this person has. However, Time's actions don't follow its words.

    For instance, how does one explain Al Gore coming in number 2? Apparently eating a lot of donuts, being able to read a movie script, and being a total eco-hypocrite is tantamount to being a real world changer and is Nobel worthy these days. Sad.

    December 19, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |


    December 19, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. Kevin, Hartford, CT

    To Laura from OK... It is just as important to acknowledge newsworthy bad people as it is for good people. As the quote goes, those who forget our history are doomed to repeat it, ignoring those who don't necessarily reflect what we consider good ethics is a good way to let our own leaders follow suit.

    December 19, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. Michelle D. - Atlanta, GA

    Jealous Mitt???

    I'll bet you wish you could grow the economy at 7% annually, huh? If only it were that easy. It takes a lot of smarts to do that.

    December 19, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  12. Liberty & Justice for ALL

    I am supporting Ron Paul for this election but I agree whole heartedly with Romney about this one.

    December 19, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  13. Jacqui Odell, Daleville, AL

    Awww... is poor Romney *GASP* jealous because he wasn't someone's choice for person of the year? Cry yourself a river, and then go do something to earn the title yourself. *Maybe* you'll be chosen. Maybe you won't. But I guarantee you wouldn't be thrilled to be called disgusting should you earn that title you appear to covet and so desperately. Get over it and move on.

    December 19, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Mike, Sacramento, CA

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

    Romney has just removed all doubt...

    December 19, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  15. Dave, Denver, CO

    Vladimir Putin is like a rock star in Russia. His approval ratings are close to 70%. The Russian people love Putin because he fixed their country that was very badly damaged, almost destroyed, by his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin.

    Now if only we Americans can get a successor to George W. Bush that will fix the bad mess that W is leaving.

    December 19, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. Charlie Starkville, MS

    I don't like Mitt but he is right on here.

    December 19, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  17. Michael, Indiana

    To Patrick in Denver;
    I dont know what country you have lived in for the past 4 years for you to say this administration has not limited free speech. I would give you an example; What do you call the act of labelling people that disagree with the war as "Unpatriotic"? It might not be blantant limitation of free speech but its a psychological way of accusing people of hating thier country just because they do not agree with the invasion and occupation of another country.

    December 19, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  18. Texrat, Fort Worth, TX

    Putin is a poor choice IMO, but so is Petraeus, willing tool of the delusional neocons.

    I'm trying to think of anyone who stood out, any person of true principle, and the only one who comes close is Al Gore. But maybe Time thought one accolade for him was enough.

    December 19, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  19. John Allen Boston, MA

    Yep, Mitt's right again. Time Magazine is out of line honoring Putin, a dictator-in-embryo. The fact that he wins it over someone like Petraus truly is digusting. I'm impressed that Romney has stayed up to date on world affairs during a tumultuous campaign season. Of course this begs the question: does Huckabee even know who Putin is?

    December 19, 2007 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  20. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    I agree Mitt. Putin has been called a control freak by many of his dissidents. Many have been either killed or maimed by him. And feared has now spread over Russia again. He is a continuation of the KGB. GOOD COMMENT MITT AND IGNORE ALL THESE IGNORAMOUSE'S COMMENTS!!!

    December 19, 2007 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  21. Robb, New York

    The Man/Person of the Year is not necessarily an award for most popular person or most valuable player. In their past, Time magazine has named some of the world's most infamous figures as its Man/Person of the Year. In theory, the title is supposed to go to the year's major newsmaker. Romney needs to look up their past winners to see for himself.

    Personally, I don't agree with the Putin pick. He made a lot of news, much of which was bad, but he wasn't in my opinion the top newsmaker. Time should have gone with either Al Gore, Gen. Petraeus, the entire field for the 2008 Presidential race as one whole unit or Steve Jobs. Time seemed like they wanted to stay away from politics or commerce and instead go with a fairly "safe pick." Frankly, they could have done better. I agree with Romney and McCain on that.

    December 19, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  22. Scott, Muncie, IN

    From someone who actually heard the interview this morning (and nice job CNN not referring to all of the context): Romney said that he understands that Time doesn't necessarily pick the person based on positives but influence, and then Beck interrupted him and read a quote from Time that explained why Putin was chosen, and it was praising Putin for bringing stability to Russia, etc., NOT because he was simply influential.

    Point: you can disagree with Romney's perspective but you are incorrect to say Mitt is clueless about the fact that Time has chosen dictators and the like before. Unfortunately if you just read this "story" then you didn't get all the context. I hope that isn't on purpose by CNN. Just one more reason why you can't just accept anything you read, especially on the internet.

    December 19, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  23. Susan, Chicago IL

    it goes to the person who has most affected the news.
    I guess I've been living under a rock the past year; I wouldn't have said that he most affected the news.

    December 19, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  24. B in NC

    Oh, give me a break. The Time Person of the Year is not some rah-rah gold star given out to the most positive person on the planet. If Romney and McCain are truly that ignorant to the chilling significance of Vladimir Putin's power and the obviously huge impact he is having on the generation of Russians currently reaching adulthood, then neither of them should be running for President.

    December 19, 2007 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  25. Alex, Winter Springs FL

    There should be a place on these comments where one must display their political ideology in terms of party or liberal/conservative/libertarian. If so, we could get a true measure on what the people who matter think of these events.

    For example, if 65% of Republicans think the statement was correct but 99% of Democrats think McCain or Romney's statement was foolish, then in terms of the primary, it actually helps these men because the opinions of Democrats do not matter during a GOP primary (and visa-versa)

    December 19, 2007 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
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